Tbilisi, July 25, 2022: Across the street from the 6 century Anchiskhati Basilica, in the heart of Tbilisi’s charming Old Town, Kerten Hospitality, a mixed-use, ESG and lifestyle operator, has opened The House Hotel Old Tbilisi, its first of three lifestyle hospitality projects in Georgia. The three-story, 17- room hotel was once the Nikolozishvili mansion and blends that traditional charm with chic sensibility. Each room is distinguished by a historical Georgian character painted by local mural artist, Musya Qeburia, and features custom-made furnishings from Georgian oak, parquet floors and marble bathrooms with a rain shower. Suites feature Tbilisi’s trademark wooden balconies with a view of the nearby Mtkvari River and pedestrian street below. In a cozy district of crooked streets and houses, medieval churches, museums, wine bars, and many attractions, The House Hotel Old Tbilisi is Tbilisi’s newest landmark and a destination in itself.
Tbilisi-based for the opening of the property, Antony Doucet, Chief Experience Officer at Kerten Hospitality, said: “This art hotel in the city’s most historic part will allow guests and visitors to get the feel, to connect to and to experience trully the Neighbourhood and the destination. Our close-knit collaboration with our UBBU teams (UBBU – United. Building a Better Universe – Kerten Hospitality’s ESG initiative) will bring the focus on Locality and Sustainability all curated around tailored experiences that ultimately create true human connections and support local do-good causes as well.”
The House Hotel is a fast-growing, award winning, luxury lifestyle brand recognized globally for quality and individuality. Its trademark is blending local art and culture with classic and contemporary styles to create an authentic and unique experience in every location. With a pipeline portfolio of over 40 projects, Kerten Hospitality is all about working organically with its local environment to tell a story that compliments the aesthetics of the region, celebrates local culture and supports the local community. The House Hotel Old Tbilisi’s local team understand cordiality and hospitality are a priority, but in Georgia, where guests are considered gifts from God, hospitality is second nature
Nikoloz Kurdadze, GM of The House Hotel Old Tbilisi, said, ”We are very excited to open our doors for guests and the community in such a unique destination where meaningful connections and lasting memories will be built after experiencing the real sense of Georgian hospitality, cuisine, art and cultural heritage.”
Traditional buildings in Tbilisi have what locals call “Italian Courtyards,” intimate social areas where residents gather to play backgammon and dominoes, hang laundry and gossip while children play. The House Hotel Old Tbilisi has renovated its courtyard to provide much of the same warmth and neighborliness with a bar that mixes special cocktails and uncorks exclusive Georgian wines from its own grower, while rapturous meals are served at tables around an olive tree for both hotel guests and walk-in visitors. Those who set foot in the property will also enjoy viewing a special collection of Georgian contemporary art pieces from the personal collection of the hotel owner.
Tbilisi has emerged from obscurity to become a world heavyweight culinary destination, yet only a few restaurants offer a high quality fine dining experience. Chef Jaume Puigdengolas, a Barcelona native, earned his Michelin stars in Marbella before creating the F&B concepts for Kerten Hospitality. The Blue Fox, named after an old Georgian cartoon character, is a 72-seat restaurant and the chef’s latest achievement. Riffing off of Tbilisi’s multi-cultural heritage, Chef Jaume’s menu combines western and eastern ideas with a Georgian foundation to create something uniquely Tbilisian. “I respect traditions and work closely with local products and producers,” he says.
Khachapuri is one of Georgia’s most iconic dishes. Chef Jaume simply turns the stuffed bread inside out, with beans and marinated onions on top, or marinated salmon, lemon and cucumber, or Sulguni and Imeretian cheese with local truffles. There are several more, which he calls “Pizzettas.” Georgian tomatoes and cucumbers are among the best in the world, which may explain why they are a salad staple on every table in the country. Chef Jaume has playfully tweaked the salad by serving tomato wedges on a pool of lightly spiced cucumber gazpacho. Although clearly not Georgian, Caesar Salads have recently appeared on nearly every menu in the country. The Spanish chef dipped into his roots and turned the salad into a tapas – a chicken croquette stuffed with béchamel and served on a leaf of Romaine. Main dishes include a tribute to Georgian mtsvadi – skewered meat roasted over coals. Here, they include marinated chicken, and the tenderest beef in the country, served with a selection of locally spiced dipping sauces. Some might call it fusion, but The Blue Fox is simply continuing the Tbilisi tradition of innovation.
Tbilisi’s legacy is built upon the Great Silk Road where it was an important trading hub, bridging Europe with Asia. This is evident in Tbilisi’s Old Town, where the local mosque is around the corner from the local synagogue, which is next to an Armenian church. An old Zoroastrian temple is above. Nearly a century of communism devastated this heritage, but it is now being rebuilt by individuals and groups like Kerten Hospitality. The House Hotel Old Tbilisi is now part and parcel of the “New Silk Road,” a modern hub where nations come to meet, mingle relax, and have a truly one-of-a-kind, unforgettable experience.
The House Hotel Old Tbilisi opens on July 25th, 2022.